Controlling your perception is the task of the corporate media.
In the United States, 90% of the media—television, print news, radio, film and online—is controlled by six companies.
When only six companies control virtually all the media, we call this is a cartel, not an industry. Everything we see and hear in the corporate media is a deliberately designed message aimed at controlling our thoughts and actions. Consider the following headlines:
What you need to know about the Iranian nuclear talks (NPR, 11/20/2013)
What you need to know about the military sexual assault debate (ABC News, 11/20/2013)
Do you win or lose under Obamacare? What you must know to see how you’ll fare (Forbes, 11/20/2013)
Ideally, journalism should report facts backed with evidence and let the reader draw their own conclusions. In today’s corporate media, we are told what to think, what is important and what to pay attention to. Critical thinking is removed from the process altogether.
Language is important. If we pay careful attention, we can see how mere words radically alter our perception about any given issue. For example, when The Guardian began publishing information provided to it by Edward Snowden, Associated Press standards editor Tom Kent issued a memo to all staff directing them to describe Snowden as a “leaker” and not as a whistle-blower. A whistle-blower is someone who exposes wrongdoing, waste or criminality. A leaker is someone who makes public information that was supposed to be secret. This begs the question, if criminality is classified as top secret by the government, does that make it any less illegal?
One way to posit a claim with no factual basis intended to control your perception and distort the truth is by prefacing such statements with “some people say…” This is a favorite technique of FOX News:
At times, FOX News is so wacky, so extreme, that it makes the other corporate news outlets seem normal or sane. In this way, FOX News actually facilitates the lies and misinformation of the other corporate news outlets, which appear trustworthy in comparison.
Let us not forget that members of a cartel do not compete, they collude. The dictionary defines collusion as a secret agreement between two or more parties for fraudulent, illegal, or deceitful purposes. The really big lies are supported and perpetuated by all corporate media, which again, consists of only six companies. All the content we receive on a daily basis, regardless of whether it is on television, radio, the Internet or in print, is controlled by these six companies.
Here is an example of deceit in the corporate media: On November 11, 2013, the Wall Street Journal (owned by News Corp) published an op-ed piece written by Andrew Huszar titled Confessions of a Quantitative Easer. In this article, Huszar admits that the Federal Reserve bond-buying program (a.k.a. quantitative easing or “QE”) is a fraud designed to benefit zombie banks on Wall Street rather than, as was claimed, us little people on Main Street. I highly recommend you read this article and consider the implications of what Huszar has revealed. Also consider that no one has come forward to challenge Huszar’s claims or discredit him personally, which usually happens when people are lying.
If Huszar’s claims are true, what can we make of these headlines from the U.S. financial media in the week after his article was published?
Citing Fed’s efforts, Bernanke says U.S. economy growing stronger (New York Times, 11/19/2013)
How the U.S. economy is quietly picking up speed (Bloomberg, 11/18/2013)
The corporate media machine seems to be conducting business as usual. The economy is picking up speed, growing stronger and full of hope. This has been the message since 2009, but it is also timely: Christmas is right around the corner and we are obliged to shop until our credit cards are maxed out and retailers post record profits. When the economic outlook is grim, people tend to save money and pay down debt. When the economy is robust or at least improving, people are more likely to spend and borrow. Is it any wonder then, that Huszar’s confession was quickly obscured by the corporate media’s smoke and mirrors? I only wonder why his article was published at all.
The best thing you can say about the corporate media is that is an entertaining distraction. Our attention is constantly directed on spectacle, triviality and bullshit, while important issues are marginalized or censored from the news altogether. But don’t take my word for it, check out ProjectCensored.org. Each year, they publish a list of news stories that were intentionally kept out of the U.S. media. When only six companies control 90% of the media, this is easy to do.
As Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting puts it, “Independent, aggressive and critical media are essential to an informed democracy. But mainstream media are increasingly cozy with the economic and political powers they should be watchdogging. Mergers in the news industry have accelerated, further limiting the spectrum of viewpoints that have access to mass media. With U.S. media outlets overwhelmingly owned by for-profit conglomerates and supported by corporate advertisers, independent journalism is compromised.”
It is hard to be outraged about something if we don’t even know it exists. Our attention is constantly diverted to things that don’t matter. Remember the outrage over Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004? This incident sparked a debate over morality that gripped the entire country. This debate took place primarily in the media, which stoked the fires of outrage and made maximum use of a ridiculous and clearly staged PR stunt. Yet where was the debate over the legality of the U.S. invasion of Iraq a year earlier? Or the outrage over the immorality of signature strikes using U.S. drones operated by the CIA? How about outrage over the fact that more U.S. military personnel died from suicide than combat in 2011 and 2012? Or that rape is the reason many military personnel suffer PTSD? I guess there is no outrage left to go around, we shot our collective wad on a twerking Miley Cyrus.
The power of the media over our perception of the world is so pervasive, it is quite possible that everything we believe in, all of our assumptions and aspirations, indeed, our very conception of morality itself, is nothing more than a construct carefully crafted by the media. Every movie, television show, news program and advertisement we have ever been exposed to has shaped our worldview and personal development. Today, this equates to six companies—six corporate media executives colluding over lunch—deciding what you will think, feel and believe, as well as what truth you will never know.